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Press release: Investors caution companies against failing to file conflict mineral reports with SEC

Author: Investor Alliance for Human Rights, Published on: 13 June 2018

A group of 47 institutional investors representing $1.2 trillion in assets issued a statement today cautioning companies to continue to comply with the conflict minerals reporting requirements legislated in section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protections Act. The statement is in direct response to comments made last year by SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar which appeared to indicate that this federally mandated reporting may not be enforced by the agency. As a result of these comments, investors say corporate reporting under 1502 has declined and/or become inconsistent, significantly increasing the risk of human rights violations for companies with supply chains sourcing from the region... Conflict minerals appear in a variety of consumer products including smart phones made by electronics companies such as Google, Apple and IBM. Investors argue that a lack of consistent compliance among covered companies deprives investors of valuable information about potential human rights risks in global supply chains.

... [According to Dodd-Frank 1502] [c]ompanies must publicly disclose annually whether any of the gold or 3Ts in their supply chains originated in Congo or one of its nine neighboring countries and, if so, describe the due diligence measures taken to determine the source of the minerals... Examples of companies that failed to file a conflict minerals report last year directly citing Commissioner Piwowar’s remarks are Invuity, Inc., (IVTY) Shire plc (SHPG), Wireless Telecom Group, Inc. (WTT), General Dynamics Corporation (GD). Investors say they will be reaching out directly to these companies to underscore the importance of these disclosures in investment decision-making and, if necessary, will consider all public and legal options available to ensure that relevant companies remain compliant.

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